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Updated January 29th, 2024 at 14:49 IST

'Shubman Gill given the cushion even a Pujara didn’t get, although he played over 100 Tests': Kumble

IND vs ENG: Shubman Gill had a rollicking start to his career with 91 in Gabba. However, his returns have been abysmal despite continuous chances.

Rohit Sharma selects Shubman Gill in place of Pujara
Rohit Sharma selects Shubman Gill in place of Pujara | Image:AP/PTI
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Team India suffered a disappointing defeat to England in the first IND vs ENG Test in Hyderabad. After controlling most of the match and even taking a 100+ lead after the first innings, India crumbled at the defining moment as they failed to chase down England's 231-run target. Indian batters could only manage 202 runs and suffered a 28-run defeat to go 0-1 in the five-match series. 

3 things you need to know

  • India suffered a disappointing defeat to England in the first Test 
  • India failed to chase down England's 231-run target
  • Shubman Gill has been facing a lot of criticism for his mediocre returns in Test cricket

ALSO READ | 'They are being picked...': Rahul Dravid gets bluntly candid after India's loss to ENG in 1st Test

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IND vs ENG: Shubman Gill's place under the scanner

This was the first time that India suffered a defeat at home despite taking a 100+ lead in the match. While batters and bowlers both performed in the first innings, India players were lethargic and poor in the second innings as they let England score 436 runs. It was again the case of the batters failing to put on the runs. 

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One player's contribution in Test cricket has been highlighted a lot in recent times has been Shubman Gill. The 24-year-old had a rollicking start to his career with 91 in Gabba while continuing the good form in 2022. However, his returns has been abysmal despite continuous chances in recent times. In 21 Tests so far, Shubman has managed only 1063 runs at an average of just 29.53.

Former India captain Anil Kumble feels that the embattled Shubman Gill has been given the kind of "cushion" that veteran Cheteshwar Pujara never got and the young batter needs to make it count in the second Test against England or risk being under tremendous pressure.

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The 24-year-old Gill has not scored a half-century in his last 11 Test innings. He scored a 128 in India's first innings against visiting Australian in Ahmedabad in March last year, but after that his highest score has been 36.

He made 23 and 0 in the two innings of the first Test against England here, which India lost by 28 runs on Sunday.

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"He (Gill) has been given the cushion perhaps even a Cheteshwar Pujara didn’t get, although he (Pujara) has played over a 100 Tests," Kumble said on 'JioCinema'.

ALSO READ | World Test Championship points table: Updated WTC standings after India vs England & AUS vs WI

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Pujara played in the WTC Final and then he's gone

"I keep coming back to him (Pujara) mainly because that was his place (No 3) not too long ago. Pujara played in that World Test Championship final and post that, it's been Shubman Gill, who's been moving from the opener's slot, and he himself wanted to bat at No. 3." The 36-year-old Pujara last played a Test in June 2023 -- the World Test Championship final against Australia -- and he was ignored after that. He scored a double hundred (243 not out) in a Ranji match earlier this month. Skipper Rohit Sharma, before the start of the England series, stated that younger players were being preferred in a bid to look ahead in Indian cricket.

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Kumble said the youngster needs to work on his mindset and also adjust his technique slightly for the second Test starting February 2.

"So, when you want to bat at No. 3 especially in India because you have that talent, you certainly need to work on your game. He has the skills, he is young and he’s learning, but he needs to do it in Vizag (in second Test), otherwise the pressure will be on him," he observed.

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"He needs to be a lot freer, score runs. He needs to come up with his own plan to tackle spin, because he has hard hands.

"It's good for good surfaces where the ball is coming on nicely and the faster bowlers are bowling at you. But when the ball is turning, when it's slow, you need to use your hands and control and check your shots. That's something he needs to work on. It can't be one flow all the time." But can Gill change his skill sets just four days before the next Test? "I think it's all the mindset. You can certainly work on your mindset, and you have the best possible person as the coach (Rahul Dravid) to manage that for Shubman Gill," he pointed out.

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(with PTI inputs)

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Published January 29th, 2024 at 13:56 IST

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